Eitan Dangot 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Ahead of the prospect of peace talks with the Palestinian Authority picking up
speed in the near future, Maj.-Gen. Eitan Dangot, Coordinator of
Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), has appointed a senior officer
to serve as the military-civil body’s liaison to the negotiations.
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position existed in the past but was dismantled almost a decade ago following
the failure of the Camp David talks under then-prime minister Ehud Barak and
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. It was held by an officer with the rank of
Dangot decided to reestablish the position shortly
before the relaunch of peace talks several months ago. Defense officials
stressed that the appointment of the officer had not been connected to the
progress of the talks, which are currently deadlocked in light of Israel’s
refusal to extend the moratorium on settlement construction in the West
“The establishment of the post is so the Defense Ministry will be
prepared for all developments,” a senior ministry official explained. “The
liaison will be in charge of coordinating between the various government
ministries and the negotiating team on civilian issues that affect the
These issues include water and electricity, as well as
environmental matters that arise following a possible Israeli withdrawal from
the West Bank and the establishment of an independent Palestinian
At this stage, IDF officers are not playing an active role in the
negotiations, which are being led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s envoy
Yitzchak Molcho and PA negotiator Saeb Erekat.
Assessments within the
defense establishment are that Defense Minister Ehud Barak is working behind the
scenes to pressure Netanyahu to agree to an additional construction freeze in
the settlements to restart the talks.